Improving Students' Memory for Musical Compositions and Their Composers: Mneme That Tune!


Students enrolled in music appreciation and music history courses may find it difficult to remember composers' names and the titles of their compositions -- particularly when retrieval is prompted by corresponding classical music themes. We sought to develop and validate a mnemonic approach in which musical themes were first recoded as more concrete referents, and then meaningfully associated with names and titles. Undergraduates were randomly assigned to either "own best method" or mnemonic conditions in both experiments. In Experiment 1, students associated composers and composition titles. In Experiment 2, students associated musical themes and composers' names (Day 1), and themes, names, and titles (Day 2). In all statistical comparisons, students using the mnemonic approach statistically outperformed corresponding "own best method" control groups. Our positive findings are of special note in Experiment 2, where classical music themes prompted students to identify titles and composers' names. To our knowledge, this is the first research to validate a mnemonic approach of this sort. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of College Student Journal is the property of Project Innovation, Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)



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College Student Journal